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We are on the road again, to Coventry this time! I always like to pop into a Tourist Information office to pick up a few leaflets or a self-guided tour when we arrive somewhere we haven't been before. So armed with a map, off we set. Goodness so much history to see!
Medieval Spon Street was a surprise, full of timber-framed town houses, a third of which were moved from other areas of Coventry. Just round the corner are some 'top shops' where Coventry's revival began in the 18th Century with the introduction of watchmaking and silk ribbon weaving. The workshops for these small scale industries were built above their homes with large windows to capture the daylight.
The mosaic below also features St John's Church, Coventry Cross, which is a replica of the 16th century version, the Blue Coat School, the Golden Cross Inn, St Mary's Guildhall, The Council House with statues of Justice, Godiva and Leofric and the clock tower.
Just like the Cathedral, there is a new part with an extensive shopping centre and road network, with roundabouts full of poppies and wildflowers - no photos unfortunately as it was a nightmare trying to come off the inner ring road and all concentration was needed!
In the mosaic below are a statue to Frank Whittle, inventor of the turbojet engine who was born in Coventry, the Canal Basin with a statue of James Brindley, who was a pioneer of the modern canal era, shaping the canals in the Industrial Revolution, Lady Herbert's Garden with blue walkway, a snazzy bench, IKEA, and some murals designed by Architect George Cullen.
Also above, is a statue of Lady Godiva riding naked through Coventry. She was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, one of the most powerful noblemen in 11th Century England who gave generously to religious establishments.
There is a legend, first recorded a century after Lady Godiva's death but which doesn't appear in any of the historic texts of her time, that Leofric was so exasperated by her constant requests to reduce the heavy taxes on Coventry, that he said that he would do this when she rode naked through the town. So, when she decided she would ride through, covering herself with her long hair, all the townspeople stayed indoors and didn't peek out of respect - apart from one man - Peeping Tom - and he was struck blind. The town was freed from all tolls by Leofric - except those on horses.
Apart from the statue, there is a clock in the shopping centre where Lady Godiva rides again on the hour.